Posts Tagged ‘david’

Dunbar Little League

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Champion of Dunbar Village.

You can almost hear the aluminum bat ping, smell the burgers on the grill and feel the teams’ collective energy as David Berrington enthusiastically describes his involvement with Dunbar Little League (DLL).

David-Berrington-DLL-Dunbar-LifeDavid is president of DLL’s board and he’s a huge fan of the organization. This season DLL celebrates its sixtieth season, making it Vancouver’s second oldest Little League. Although the season is short, three months in total from April to June, in addition to tournament season (mid-June to the end of July), DLL is a true community anchor.

Volunteers are fully responsible for running DLL and there is no problem getting people out to lend a hand. David says, “This is not drop and go, this is drop and participate.”

“We have the strongest volunteer base of any league we interact with. We measure our success by our community spirit.” David Berrington

An example of community spirit is the pre-season field preparation workday; approximately 150 people turn out every year without fail. They come equipped with hoes, shovels and rakes to weed, put up fences, and spread “red gold” which is what David jokingly says they call the expensive dirt.

He mentions that season openers draw as many as 500 kids and 1,000 family members. He adds, “No other Dunbar events have a turn out like this.” Closing day also draws huge crowds. An annual parade kicks off the day, beginning at West King Edward Avenue and processes, complete with police escorts, along Dunbar Street to Memorial Park. With as many as 700 kids, coaches and parents joining in, by the time they reach the park the numbers double in size with the awaiting crowd.

Community celebrations are at the heart of DLL. Perhaps it is because, as David acknowledges, “Baseball has a rich tradition of history and ceremony” that they place value on commemorating special occasions. On Mother’s Day the concession stand is off limits – no mothers are allowed to volunteer. Instead, mothers and grandmothers are showered with adoration in the form of a cooked breakfast made by the dads.

Another notable occasion is the annual coaches game. This one night tournament is an opportunity for everyone to come out and watch the coaches play. A volunteer who happens to be a restaurateur, came up with the idea of offering a special menu of meatball sandwiches and crab rolls at the concession stand, which met with great approval. As many as 300 people have come out to cheer on the coaches; kids act as umpires and get an opportunity to make announcements. Pancake day for the Majors players is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the senior players prior to the playoffs. They hold fun competitions and players receive a commemorative pin in appreciation of their time spent with DLL.

Players and their families are guaranteed to be neighbours due to set boundaries within the Dunbar area.

Only accepting registrations from Dunbar kids creates instant connections with one another at Memorial Park and Balaclava Park, which are the home parks to the 500 DLL players who range in age from 4 to 12.

Beginning at age 4 children can sign up for T-ball where they will get their first taste of being a Little Leaguer. At age 7 they progress to Minor B division (the only level that plays at Balaclava Park), at age 9 they advance to Minor A and finally at age 11 through 12 they reach Majors division at Memorial Park’s big diamond.

All teams are co-ed and it’s never too late to learn to play baseball. David notes that while registration has already taken place for the older divisions, T-ball registration is underway during the month of February.

“The concession turns a small profit every year. It’s not about making a profit, it’s about the community feeling.” David Berrington

The concession is open to everyone; residents will often stroll by and make a purchase. For $5 you can purchase a burger and drink. Popcorn, hot dogs, Caesar salad wraps and slushies are all very popular but the top seller by far is the candy bags priced at a mere 50 cents. Over the course of a season DLL sells over 6,000 bags. Groups of volunteers meet twice a season to bag the candy.

With 50 DLL teams in total there are plenty of opportunities for local businesses to get involved as sponsors. David mentions there is a waiting list to sponsor the Majors level. Businesses benefit from exposure to local residents but it is also a philanthropic investment in the neighbourhood that drives many to get involved.

How did David get involved? Although he did not play baseball as a child he made a point of introducing his two sons to a variety of sports. They became hooked and have worked their way up through DLL. His oldest son has now moved on to Bantam Triple A with Vancouver Community Baseball. His youngest son is completing his final year in DLL’s Majors division.

DLL logo sqDavid admits that as a human resources consultant his strength is managing and leading people. He has thoroughly enjoyed volunteering for DLL. With one final year as president he admits, “I’ll miss it terribly. The involvement I have is special.” He will remain for an additional year as past president, but will always be involved in some capacity. “I don’t own the league. I have been a caretaker for a few years. You always hope to leave an organization in a better place when you move on,” he says.

Regarding the sixtieth anniversary season DLL plans to host an alumni game and hold a party in June which all former coaches and players are invited to attend. Information and details will be forthcoming on DLL’s website at www.dunbarbaseball.ca

Dunbar Family Dental

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Dunbar Family Dental Dr David Hou Palla MediaDentist Returns to His Roots

From an early age Dr. David Hou knew he wanted to be a dentist. His experience with orthodontic work began in grade 6 when he made monthly visits over the course of three years to have his braces adjusted. His dentist always made the experience comfortable and fun.

“My career choice had a lot to do with how I was treated at the dentist’s office.”

Born in Vancouver, Dr. Hou grew up in Dunbar. During his teenage years he did some job shadowing and mentoring to get a feel for the profession. He was hooked. After graduating he followed his dream and set off for sunny California where he attended the University of California and completed his dental training at Loma Linda University Medical Centre. In 2006 Dr. Hou returned to Vancouver to continue practicing dentistry.

Dr. Hou has been a dentist in the Lower Mainland for the past 10 years. Two years ago he began practicing at Dunbar Family Dental.

His busy private practice includes himself, his certified assistant, his team of two hygienists and two receptionists. Three operatory rooms contain televisions on the ceiling for patients to relax and enjoy a show and headphones to listen to music.

Some of the newest technology includes a digital panoramic X-ray machine that provides a broad view of jaws and teeth. Digital X-rays provide a clearer image compared to film and expose patients to 90 per cent less radiation than a traditional X-ray. The results are instant and can be viewed on a computer monitor, making it an educational experience for patients.

Dunbar Family Dental David Hou Palla MediaHe also utilizes a VELscope machine to screen for oral cancer and abnormal tissue conditions.

Services includes everything from conventional braces for children to Invisalign for adults, check ups, fillings, crowns, root canals, implants and wisdom teeth removal. Oral sedation is available for those who need it or for certain procedures such as implants and wisdom teeth.

Dr. Hou says the overall oral health care has improved so much in the past 20 years that far fewer people are requiring dentures. Many patients are opting for more permanent and practical solutions such as dental implants.

Dr. Hou is committed to providing the best and most up to date care. He regularly attends continuing education courses and is a member of multiple dental study clubs in the Lower Mainland. This allows him to stay up to the date with the newest advances and techniques in the field.

He points out, “Variety in a day makes it fun for me too.”

It is apparent Dr. Hou is passionate about his profession and thoroughly enjoys work. He is extremely person-able and likes meeting new people. He says his entire staff tries their best to make a visit to the office a positive experience.

He encourages parents to bring their children in before two years of age. Feeling comfortable and making the experience fun is key. He says, “A large part of the visit is introducing them to the office and getting them used to coming.” Selecting a prize afterwards from the treasure chest is always a special treat.

Dr. Hou takes pride in offering family dentistry in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and forming good relationships with his patients.

Dunbar residents are largely his patient base as they appreciate the convenience of having a dentist close to home. Dunbar Family Dentist’s youngest patient is age two and the oldest is 101. New patients are happily accepted. Dr. Hou speaks both English and Mandarin.

In addition to busy days at his practice, Dr. Hou holds a part-time academic position at UBC. He teaches clinical dentistry (which includes general procedures, fillings, crowns and dentures) to third and fourth year students one day a week and enjoys the experience.

Dunbar Family Dental Dunbar Life Palla MediaDr. Hou believes Dunbar hasn’t changed much since he was young. He finds it a charming place to live and own a business. He is very supportive of the good work accomplished by the Dunbar Residents’ Association and the Dunbar Village Business Association.

Reflecting back on Dunbar from his youth, he notes what remains unchanged is the strong sense of community and it is a safe place to grow up. Some of his fond memories include playing floor hockey and tennis at the Dunbar Community Centre and sipping milkshakes at the former Sodas Diner. Today he and his wife enjoy the walkable neighbourhood. They like to shop at Stong’s Market, dine out and take in a film at the Dunbar Theatre.

He says, “Dunbar is a close knit community. It is very fortunate that I am back and I am blessed to be here.”

Dunbar Family Dental
4210 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6S 1N9
Telephone 604-733-1616
www.dunbarfamilydental.com